The Ole Ball Game

Can a player switch how he bats or pitches during same at bat?

by Jim
(Phoenix, AZ)

Jim asked: Can a switch hitter change which side of the plate he's batting from during his at bat appearance at the plate?


Also, can a pitcher change throwing arm/hand while facing the same batter during that batter's plate appearance?

In other words, if a player starts an at bat left-handed, does he have to complete that at bat left-handed or can he change to right-handed?


Rick answered: Jim, thank you for your question.

Rule (f) (8.01 (f) Ambidextrous Pitchers

A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch, which may be done by wearing his glove on the other hand while touching the pitcher's plate. The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury.

In the event a pitcher switches pitching hands during an at bat because he has suffered an injury, the pitcher may not, for the remainder of the game, pitch with the hand from which he has switched.

The pitcher shall not be given the opportunity to throw any preparatory pitches after switching pitching hands. Any change of pitching hands must be indicated clearly to the umpire-in-chief.

To my knowledge, batter's are able to switch, pitch to pitch if they want to.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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